MAKE A CEVICHE!
Ceviche is a dish the used to make me a little nervous. It seems a little dangerous, a little exotic, and sits just outside the comfort zone of people who don’t eat a lot of fish. Here’s the thing though…
Ceviche is only intimidating on paper. If you actually just try it, you’re pretty much eating salsa with some low-fat protein in it.
If you aren’t eating ceviche yet, there is no time like the present. It is a crisp, clean, fresh way to really enjoy a great piece of fish. The flavors are bright and light, and the dish is not overly filling. The flavor of the fish is cleaner than a cooked fish. Much of the fishy flavors that people associate with fish are highlighted when a fish is cooked. With a ceviche, that is minimized by the raw preparation and the citrus flavors, so the fish really gets to shine. You can go wild with the flavors and you can make it as easy or complex as you like. CHECK OUT MY CEVICHE RECIPE that gives 3 options for how to flavor it:
Ceviche is very easy to make, but there are a few rules that I always stick to when making ceviche.
The fish needs to be very fresh and from a trusted source. Since the fish is not being cooked, the flavor and safety of the fish is critical. I prefer commercially flash frozen fish, or fish that I can either catch myself or buy fresh from the dock.
Don’t use freshwater fish. They tend to hold be more susceptible to parasites like tape worms that you don’t want to mess with.
Take adequate food safety precautions. The common (and incorrect) belief is that the citrus cooks the fish. It gives the fish the appearance of being cooked, but only temperature will render fish safe from parasites. While the chances that you will get sick are slim, it is possible. To be completely safe, I prefer to freeze my fish to sterilize them. Most typical home freezers won’t do, so you have 2 choices. Either purchase a chest freezer that can get down to -4 degrees Fahrenheit, or buy commercially frozen fish that you can confirm have been frozen below -4. In either case, they need to remain at that temperature for at least 7 days. After that, you can be assured that your fish is as safe as possible.
If you follow those rules, you can eat and feed your friends ceviche with confidence. I’ve only been eating ceviche at home for about 2 years, and it has become one of my favorites. It is something that I crave and something that I experiment a lot with. I hope that you have the same thoughts when you try it.